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How to Remove Pine Tar From Shoes

Kaye Wagner

Pine tar can be one of the most difficult stains to deal with, not because it is difficult to remove, but because it is sticky. To remove pine tar, you will need strong solvents that will take away the stickiness and dissolve the sap.

When cleaning shoes, use as little solvent as possible, because many solvents will dry out shoe leather. Do not use this cleaning method on any shoes that are water sensitive.

  1. Apply 1 drop of liquid dish soap to the pine tar.

  2. Scrub the liquid dish soap into the pine tar with a toothbrush until you loosen the stain.

  3. If the stain is still visible, apply mineral spirits to a clean cloth.

  4. Dab the cloth onto the pine tar until you remove it.

  5. If the stain is still visible, add just enough water to 3 tbsp. baking soda to make a very thick paste.

  6. Dab the paste into the pine tar with a clean cloth until you remove the rest of the stain.

  7. Rinse the area with clear water.

  8. Dry the area completely.